Afghan President Hamid Karzai today angrily blamed “foreign elements” for his having to knuckle under and allow parliament to sit on Wednesday, just days after he announced he was delaying the seating for an additional month over a fraud probe.
“A number of foreign elements questioned our decision and began creating a crisis in the country by telling the winning candidates to open the national assembly without the president and told them “we are with you”,” Karzai insisted.
This does appear to have been largely in keeping with what happened, as the MPs threatened to sit unilaterally, officials raised the prospect of using security forces to block them, and then the US ordered Karzai to back down which, as always, he did.
Karzai’s delays were criticized as a scheme to keep him from facing parliamentary oversight for an extended period of time, while those who were declared “losing candidates,” many of whom actually got more votes than the “winning candidates” in the fraud-riddled September vote, slammed the decision to seat the parliament as a major defeat.
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